The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has just released data showing that drivers in Essex are the worst in the UK. In the two-year period to August of this year, police officers in the county issued 3,630 tickets for careless driving.
This figure is almost double that of the second worst county, Humberside, where drivers picked up 1,998 convictions for careless driving. There was another significant drop to third-placed Nottinghamshire which garnered 1,139. Derbyshire drivers were fourth with 949 convictions and Hampshire fifth with 929.
Local newspapers cited some of the sins of Essex drivers. One was nabbed for driving at speeds of 130mph and had a cup of tea stuck between his legs at the same time. Another incident saw a passenger in a vehicle wave at a speed camera while the driver was doing 82mph.
The figures relate to the first two years since police were given the powers to issue fixed penalties for careless driving. The figures show that in Essex 2,958 motorists opted to take a course, another 484 opted for a court appearance and 188 accepted a conditional offer.
IAM asked police forces across the UK to supply information about convictions and 33 out of 43 constabularies obliged. The total amount of people hit with fixed penalties for careless driving in the 33 counties comes out to 17,468.
Careless driving covers a multitude of sins from tailgating to blocking cyclists right through to speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road. IAM CEO Sarah Sillars says bad driving causes accidents and hopes fines and having to take courses will make drivers think twice before they do it again.